Lumped silence until the intersection, where the car sputters beneath your feet. Next to the faded yellow line you stop, pull out a flashlight, open the hood bonnet. We stand like the earth is eggshell, we don’t move, we shoulder a wet black sky like we are afraid to wake it up. Your arm touches mine and I am afraid to wake you from this daze, the same daze you had when we found her. Mother, an accident sprawled horizontal next to a bottle. We left her muscles to die — when should they be left to die? You and I stood, unable to touch mother — she might regret her last violence to the world, a big whopping fuck- you. Now she lay as still as a painting, we were the viewers, we were the critics, I stared and felt ashamed for it, like I was watching her undress. Then she was peeled from the floor, all five feet lifted into arms of men neither you nor I knew and she slid away to a world where we have not lived.
When the Car Stops in Gambier, Ohio
by Jiyoung Jeong